Scotland Under-21s coach Scot Gemmill took encouragement from the number of shooting chances his side created despite needing a stoppage-time penalty to salvage a home draw against 10-man Latvia.
Oli McBurnie and Ryan Hardie saw good chances saved before the latter netted to claim a 1-1 draw.
Latvia rarely threatened but a headed goal from Roberts Uldrikis put them ahead in time added on to the end of the first half after a floodlight failure at McDiarmid Park in Perth.
The visitors had Ingars Stuglis sent off in the 67th minute following an awful challenge on Chris Cadden but Scotland were largely restricted to shooting from distance and a number of crosses failed to find a dark blue jersey.
The Scots fell six points behind Group 4 leaders England in the European qualifying stakes but Gemmill was encouraged by their efforts.
Gemmill, who saw Hearts defender John Souttar go off with mild concussion, said: “I was obviously delighted to get the goal and I think the second-half performance really merited the goal with the character they showed and the willingness to not be beaten and find a way to score against a team that were making it difficult.
“I think we had over 20 shots and we had some good individual performances from a lot of players but at the same time we are disappointed to concede. This team has shown how determined they are to keep clean sheets and if you are going to beat teams seeded below you then we have to keep clean sheets.
“It’s not easy to beat teams you are expected to beat. Even at full squads all the way down the age groups, there hasn’t been teams and players that are capable of creating that many chances when a team comes in and makes it hard for us.
“So I think we can really take confidence that we created over 20 attempts on goal. That shows we have the quality and a real threat. Anyone who saw the game will know there is a lot to be positive about.”